Saturday, 30 April 2011

Barmy about Bunting

I recently have been somewhat obsessed with crochet bunting.  I found a great tutorial over on the blog of Pink Fluffy Warrior and just had to have a go.  My first attempt was just plain triangles which I used outside our door - excuse the filthy state of the guttering, which has since been scrubbed!

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Then I did some more triangles interspaced with some hearts, which I put up outside my kitchen window around the other side of the house.

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I then had a go at bunting with letters – the ideas for the letters were taken from Melody Griffith’s “201 crochet motifs, blocks, projects and ideas”.

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I put this up at the boatyard outside reception.  Unfortunately we had quite a windy day today and it kept blowing up on the porch roof, so no one could read it.  Anyway, I wouldn’t be surprised if over the weekend, some bright spark didn’t take a liking to it and spirit it away.

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This bunting works up really quickly and also I only used yarn from my stash – which despite several projects, still doesn’t seem to be diminishing.

After finishing the bunting I have now started two more blankets, even though I haven’t finished off my hexagon throw yet, but I just couldn’t resist.  In my defence, I am still only working from my yarn pile, so I think it is allowed.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Sunny Sunday

Boy was I ready for a day off today. The pace has really picked up at the boatyard as the last two weeks have been really busy, with most of the boats booked for the Easter hols.  Friday and Saturday were both very long days with lots of what we call ‘newbies’ – people coming on holiday on our boats who have never had a boating holiday before.  As you can imagine, the tuition and takeover procedure is a lengthy process and at one point yesterday, Nigel lost his voice!  Eventually we cleared the yard of all boats and went home yesterday for our Saturday tradition of a cream cake and coffee followed later by Nachos and salad (can’t be bothered to cook on Saturdays!).

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Today must have been the hottest day of the year so far.  The sun has been shining all day and there has actually been some warmth to it.  Before we could do anything today, Nigel had to pilot 3 boats through Wroxham Bridge but once finished we drove out to the countryside and did a new for us 4 mile circular walk from Alby Crafts.  Unfortunately I forgot the camera which was a shame as we walked through some lovely countryside.  The oil seed rape fields are just coming into bloom and in another couple of weeks there will be vast blankets of stunning yellow.  My bees love the oil seed rape and it makes lovely honey but needs to be extracted from the comb quickly as it a fast setting honey.  Once jarred up it sets within days and turns almost white.  We also so a fox up ahead which Tillie tried to chase but to no avail.

Talking of foxes, my new hens have settled in really well although we had a little bit of a scare earlier in the week.  It had just got dark and the phone rang.  It was Nigel’s Mother saying her outside security light had just come and she had seen a fox go past her window, had we locked up the hens?   Luckily I had about an hour earlier but I still went out to check they were ok.

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The girls have been busy haven’t they?

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This afternoon I inspected my bees which being all suited up in my protective gear, was hot work.  The numbers inside the hives have increased dramatically since my last inspection and there is some new honey in some of the combs.  I managed to spot two out of the three queens, no easy task trying to spot her amongst her thousands of workers.  One hive is very small and will need feeding up, so I will have to mix some sugar syrup up for them later.  I still managed to get stung on my hand, even with my gloves on, luckily it didn’t hurt at all.   The place I hate getting stung is on my head, now that really does hurt!!

At last the warm weather has brought up my seeds at last.  Excuse the mousetraps but the little blighters nosh on my seeds as soon as I sow them.

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Can’t wait for later on this evening as No 1 Son is due home for a few days – Hurrah!

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Halfway to Hexagon Heaven

I actually started the project I am currently working on way, way back in Dec 2009! I started my hexagon blanket full of enthusiasm and diligently set forth and crocheted a number of hexys and joined them together as I went. 

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Just as suddenly as I started, I then put it down and went on to other things.  Every time I was rootling about in my stash room, it reproachfully looked at me, hoping against hope that I would release it from its unfinished home and give it a new lease of life.  I pretended not to notice it peeking out of it’s box and overlooked it for more pressing projects.  But in my effort to try and work only from my ever increasing stash, I pulled it from its box and set forth with renewed vigour.  Even after working on it night after night for a good couple of weeks, I am probably only still about halfway as I plan to make it double bed size, which will not only fit my bed but also can double for a throw for one of my sofas.

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I have had to fudge my resolve of only working from my current collection of yarn because I need quite a bit of the purple coloured yarn used to join all the hexagons together- Stylecraft Special Double Knit Shade 1425 grandly called Emperor.  The hexagons are made up of three rounds – round one 12 dc into a magic ring and joined, round two 2dc into the spaces of the previous round seperated by 1ch, round three 3dc into previous rounds ch space seperated by 1ch.  Obviously these are at this stage, still circles but are them turned into hexagons by the join as you go method much used by moonstitches and attic24.  I chose not to do the chain loop round but like the overall effect despite this.

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I have lost count how many circles I have made and just to mix it up a little, complete the circles two ways, either crocheting a complete three round circle or making lots of round ones, then working all the round twos, then all the round threes.  I keep finding different colours to use and hope I haven’t got too many repeats but without really studying the blanket closely I am not sure.

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I think I will work on it some more until I get hexagon burn out and then it may have to go back in the box for awhile again!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Arrival of my new hens

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I had lost my last 4 remaining chickens to a visiting fox.  After contacting Little Hen Rescue to find out when their next rehoming day was, we reserved 6 hens and this morning we drove over to Flordon and picked up 6 ex battery hens.  They are only between 50 – 70 weeks old and deemed by the farmer to be too old for laying.  In reality these girls will continue to lay eggs for years to come if allowed to live out their natural lives.

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Once we got home we released them into their new home.  The first time in their short lives that they had felt the sun on their backs and the green grass under their feet.  They stood about looking very bewildered for a while but were soon pecking at the grass and plants and it wasn’t long before they were tucking into their feed.

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Tonight should be interesting as when we put them away in their house at dusk we shall have to actually sit them on their perches.  Having never perched before this will take a bit of getting used to as all they have known is standing 24 hours on metal mesh in the battery cages.

I wonder when I shall get my first egg from them?

Friday, 8 April 2011

Blossom Scarf

There is a massive craze going on at the moment all over blogland of crocheting flowers.  Nearly every blog that I visit has some kind of project going on that includes flowers.  I am currently in the middle of crocheting a massive hexagon flower blanket which I actually started well over a year ago, so I was already in the flower zone but I thought I would start a new flower project.  This year I am trying to only use yarn from my huge stash.  Someone gave me 3 more bags full of yarn at the weekend!

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The only yarn I have bought recently are a few balls of purple which I am using for my edging colour on the hexagon blanket and some cream for edging on another blanket I have just recently started. 

The pattern I chose for my current flower project was The Blossom Scarf a free pattern from Lion Brand.  You just have to register to view the patterns, and you don’t get inundated with emails just one a week featuring new patterns.  It was a quick project to complete as I used two contrasting colours together.

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I am donating this scarf to Joan over at 100 Scarves 4 Bethesda who is raising money for her local care home and hospice in Stornoway on the Scottish Isle of Lewis.

Monday, 4 April 2011

A Sunday Spring Walk

We decided to make the most of the milder weather and packed up a picnic, jumped in the car and drove out into the countryside to enjoy the lovely Spring day. 

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Our picnic spot about halfway round was going to be the ruins of Baconsthorpe Castle, not a castle as such but a manor house that was crenelated, built in the 1400’s.  Along the way we passed what we affectionately call the Troll House but actually called Ralphs.  This house stands on the edge of some lovely tranquil woods overlooking some fields and this dwelling has an unusual grass roof.

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On arrival at Baconsthorpe Castle, several other people had decided to picnic there also but all of these had arrived by car.  In fact over the whole walk of just under 6 miles we didn’t see one other person walking in the countryside.  We sat on the bank of the moat and watched the geese, ducks and other waterfowl enjoying the quiet waterway and munched our way through our picnic fare. 

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We sat in the sun, warm enough to sit in our shirt sleeves, the dogs were hot from all their running to and fro. 

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Once recovered we gathered up our belongings and headed off back through Baconsthorpe village and back to the car.  Along the way there were plenty of spring babies to be seen.

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One mystery we don’t know the answer for is what is this strange looking plant?  I have looked through some wild flower books I have and haven’t found it yet.  Does anyone have any idea?

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